Audio Show Success
According to all reports received, the Show was an incredible success—as numbered in both consumer traffic, which totaled 15,123 people through the doors of the Westin-St. Francis, and in the more than 1,000 retailers and 483 members of the press from all corners of the globe. Show attendees had a chance to see, hear, and demo more than 250 brands from 200 exhibitors in more than 100 demo rooms—over $10 million worth of audio/video and home-theater equipment.
Show attendees had a chance to learn about the latest advancements in HDTV, Super Audio CD, surround sound, and more in a series of educational seminars. And a variety of live musical performances from blues, jazz, and popular recording artists provided welcomed relief from the crowds and noise generated on the exhibit floors. The standing-room-only concert by Richard Thompson, sponsored by Dolby, packed the house on Saturday night.
Sony unveiled several new audio/video products, including a new series of multichannel A/V receivers and a new flagship model, the STR-DA9000ES, which features the new i.LINK digital input. Also unveiled was a flagship SACD player—the SCD-XA9000ES.
Dolby Laboratories showcased recent developments in DVD-Audio software and hardware with a state-of-the-art demo with partner Meridian Audio, who showcased their 800 Series electronics and five DSP8000 loudspeakers.
Hewlett-Packard showed off their digital imaging products, scanners, cameras, and photo printers, plus the mobile Compaq Tablet PC, the iPaq Pocket PC, and the cool new Digital Media Receiver en5000, which extends digital music and photos to consumers’ TV and stereo systems.
Television was on display in all shapes, sizes, and formats, including HDTV, Plasma, LCD, DLP, and front and rear projectors from manufacturers Faroudja, Runco, Samsung, Sharp, SIM2 Sèleco, Sony, Vidikron, and Zenith. And consumers were awed by Nippura Blue Ocean’s unique acrylic rear-projection screen, which provides 3-D portrayal of video, and asymmetrical projection for simultaneous viewing from both sides.
New loudspeakers from Alón, Avalon Acoustics, DynAudio, Gallo Acoustics, MartinLogan, Polk Audio, Pure Audio, Silverline, Tannoy, Velodyne, and Wilson Benesch played loud and crystal-clear for consumers, who brought their own CDs to test-drive the best of the best.
Retro-looking tube amps from Innersound, Manley Labs, and Wavestream, and turntables from Clearaudio, Musical Fidelity, and Rega—who showed a turntable whose platform was painted with an American flag—reminded the crowd that, once again, the tube and vinyl technologies are gaining ground.
Audiogon/Videogon.com sponsored a silent charity auction, onsite and online, to benefit the Elf Foundation, which creates "rooms of magic"—private entertainment theaters for children’s hospitals across the country—to bring to ill children and their families the enchantment of music and films. Together they raised $21,000, while Bay Area dealer The Good Guys raised $7,000 for this worthy cause.
Co-sponsored by Stereophile, Stereophile Guide to Home Theater, Home Theater, Audio Video Interiors magazines, and The San Francisco Chronicle, Home Entertainment 2003 was the ultimate showcase for innovative technology introductions, and was the USA’s preeminent home-entertainment event of the year.
Home Entertainment 2004 is scheduled to take place May 20-23, 2004, at the Hilton New York Hotel—site of the successful 2001 and 2002 events.